Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces $14.7 Million Verdict Against Drug Company

Press Release Date:  Thursday, October 15, 2009  
Contact Information:  Allison Gardner Martin
Communications Director
502-696-5651 (office)

Attorney General Jack Conway today announced that a Franklin Circuit Court jury has handed down a $14.7 million verdict against global pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for defrauding the Medicaid program and Kentucky consumers by inflating the prices of their prescription drugs.  

The Kentucky Medicaid program relies on published average wholesale prices (AWPs) to calculate Medicaid drug-reimbursement rates. During the trial, the Commonwealth showed that AstraZeneca published significantly inflated AWPs for its drugs that bore no relationship to any prices that AstraZeneca actually charged its customers.

“I appreciate the jury’s careful consideration of this matter and am pleased that we have been able to recover money for the Medicaid program and for Kentucky taxpayers,” said General Conway. “My office is committed to putting an end to this type of deception and ensuring that drug companies truthfully report their drug prices.”

The Office of the Attorney General has filed suit against 47 of the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers, alleging that the drug companies violated Kentucky’s Medicaid Fraud and Consumer Protection statutes and engaged in false and deceptive advertising.

In June, General Conway announced a $16 million verdict against Sandoz, the generic-drugs division of pharmaceutical giant Novartis, for inflating the prices of its prescription drugs.  The Attorney General’s Office has also settled cases with Amgen for $2.4 million, Immunex for $145,000, Bristol-Meyers Squibb for $10 million and Baxter Healthcare Corporation for $2 million.

Since General Conway took office in January 2008, his Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control has recovered or obtained verdicts totaling nearly $100 million for the Kentucky Medicaid Program.